An idea for the low-end: Air Display
After posting some ideas about the Tunderbolt Display, I thought of a completely different direction for external displays. While the Thunderbolt Display is definitely a high-end device what kind of compelling product could Apple make for the low end? I think it's an Air Display.
So what is the Air Display? Well for starters it's a 21.5" 1920 by 1080 display (the same one that exists on the 21.5" iMac). What's special about it, though, is that besides the typical Thunderbolt connections, this display would also have Intel's WiDi (Wireless Display) technology. So you could connect your MacBook to this display without the need to actually plug it in.
There are a few problems with the concept, though. While the speakers on the display would also be supported, the FaceTime camera and the microphones would have to use another connection. A user also wouldn't have high speed access to the ports at the back of the display. Perhaps Apple could make some kind of close range wireless connection technology that is faster than BlueTooth.
Ideally, there would be a few other things happening here. If the desk that the display was on had wireless charging built into it's surface, then the notebook computer wouldn't need to plug in at all. And if there were NFC tags built into the desk that would automatically initiate the WiDi connection, one wouldn't even have to connect to the Air Display manually. But that has a lot to do with furniture makers, a business that I don't see Apple getting into any time soon.
I see the future as being completely wireless and automatic and I think there are some technologies out there that make this future possible right now.